Thursday, November 19, 2009

AHA 09: the FOCUS study

This study addressed an issue that often plagues hospitalists who are involved in co-management of patients undergoing hip fracture repair: when the patient's hemoglobin and hematocrit drop following surgery, what is the appropriate transfusion target in patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for CVD? While a H/H target of 8/24 has been validated for patients across the board, conventional wisdom has it that 10/30 is a more appropriate target for patients with cardiovascular disease. FOCUS compared strategies utilizing these two targets and found no advantage of the more aggressive transfusion strategy in terms of death or cardiac event rate. Results concerning the effect on functional outcomes have yet to be announced.

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